Switzerland’s EPFL has managed to catch our attention with its various UAV-related activities, and it looks like it’s also been the radar of Parrot, maker of the AR Drones.
EPFL announced today that the French company is investing 7.4 million Swiss Francs (or about $7.5 million) in two companies that have been spun out of the institution: senseFly and Pix4D. As you may recall, those two have collaborated in the past, with senseFly providing the camera-equipped UAVs necessary for Pix4D’s 3D mapping software. Broken down, the investment works out to 2.4 million Francs put into Pix4D and five million invested in senseFly, the latter of which is enough for Parrot to claim a majority stake company.
Parrot, and in particular their AR Drone, has been popular with its unique design and the fact that it can be controlled by your mobile phone via an application.
As for the future, senseFly’s CEO says that the deal will give Parrot “access to the expertise and the technology for specialized drones,” while Pix4D’s CEO says that the investment “reinforces our position as a leader in software for professional drones” and opens up new business opportunities. It also makes it clear, if it wasn’t already, that Parrot is getting pretty serious about drones. You can find the official announcement after the break, along with a video from EPFL explaining the deal.